BAE Systems in talks with Oman over fighter aircraft deal
Monday 23 January 2012
Defence giant BAE Systems is in talks with the Government of Oman to supply a number of Typhoon fighter aircraft, which would be delivered within three years of a contract being signed.
The aircraft would be built at BAE's site in Warton, near Preston in Lancashire, where hundreds of job losses were announced last year under cuts sparked by a slowdown in production.
The company said it had mitigated 900 of the compulsory redundancies across Warton and another site at nearby Samlesbury, so out of the 1,408 potential redundancies, around 500 will be compulsory.
Officials said today's announcement will not save the jobs, although it will have an impact on the supply chain.
A spokesman said: "BAE Systems welcomes the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the supply and support of Typhoon fighter aircraft for the Royal Air Force of Oman.
"This news underpins the long-standing defence and security relationship between Oman and the United Kingdom and between the armed forces in Oman and BAE Systems, a major supplier of equipment and services to the Sultanate."
Contractual negotiations are due to begin shortly, with BAE expecting it to involve 12 aircraft, to be delivered within 36 months from contract signature.
BAE is undergoing a review of its UK business to reduce costs in anticipation of future orders and to ensure efficiency and effectiveness so it can compete in growing export markets where there is a commitment to defence procurement.
The review of the warship business has raised fears of job losses at sites including the historic Portsmouth dockyard.
BAE said: "As part of our business planning activity, we are reviewing how best to retain the capability to deliver and support complex warships in the UK in the future, in line with our commitments under the Terms of Business Agreement signed in 2009.
"This work is on-going and we will keep our employees and trade union representatives fully informed as it progresses."
A Government spokesman said: "The UK Government welcomes the Government of Oman's request for a proposal from BAE Systems for the supply and support of Typhoon aircraft.
"This represents an important step towards the contract. Not only is this a further sign of the strong and enduring relationship between the two countries, but it also presents a further opportunity for both governments and respective industries to work together to bring wider economic, training and education benefits to Oman."
The Prospect union said it feared the company has already taken the decision to close its shipbuilding facility in Portsmouth.
Negotiations officer John Ferrett said: "The company have been less than forthcoming with unions on their future plans for UK shipbuilding. We were told that the company was using LEK consultants in October last year, but at no time were we told that the consultants were reviewing which of the company's yards should be closed.
"Clearly, when companies take decisions in this way the employees and their representatives have every right to be suspicious."
Prospect said closure would spell "economic disaster" for the local community at a time when highly skilled jobs were crucial for economic growth.
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
- 5 Westboro Baptist Church couldn't picket Leonard Nimoy's funeral because they didn't know where it was
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
iJobs Money & Business
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established early...
£30 - 35k + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Executive Assist...
£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...
Voluntary post, reasonable expenses reimbursed: Reach Volunteering: Would you ...